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How to assess your language skills when applying for a job

Ever been looking for a job and realised that describing your foreign languages as being “intermediate” or “advanced” level is too vague? A new tool will now help you to better estimate your language level and thereby boost your job opportunities.     
 The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is increasingly being referred to as an effective tool to estimate language proficiency. EURES supports the use of Europass CVs and the CEFR is an integrated part of the Europass suite of tools.
“In our global era of increasing communication and international mobility, language skills are undoubtedly a career asset. By indicating these in their CVs, in a clear and internationally comparable manner, jobseekers can certainly boost their job opportunities”, notes Pedro Chaves from the European Commission.
The CEFR is user friendly, contains six language ability reference levels from A1 (Breakthrough) to C2 (Mastery) and serves as a model which can be applied to all European languages The self assessment framework is enhanced by the use of simple, accessible, illustrative descriptors in the “can do” format, for example “I can understand most TV news and current affairs programmes”. “The CEFR provides a table which can be used to describe language competences according to common criteria accepted throughout Europe”, comments Pedro Chaves.
Waldemar Martyniuk, Executive Director of the European Centre for Modern Languages points out that the practical approach of the language assessment tool makes it an invaluable tool for jobseekers and employers alike. “When you employ people, you need to know what they can actually do. Descriptions provided are often vague. The descriptors in the CEFR allow employers to set-up a more exact profile of a potential employee.”
Read more:
Find out about related tools and instruments offered by the Council of Europe
Compile your own Europass CV
Find out more about the working and living conditions in different European countries on the EURES Job Mobility Portal
Search for a job in the EURES Job Database
Search for skilled employees in the EURES CV Database

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